During prohibition, speakeasies were hidden (often in plain sight) and hosted in everyday businesses around town. Passwords and secret entrances revealed a world only accessible to those with the inside scoop. While you don't technically need a password to access most of these prohibition-era establishments, in the spirit of fun and in keeping with the historical tradition of below-the-radar booze halls, these out-of-sight bar scenes are secrets worth sharing. Whether it's a night out with friends or you want to impress a date with your go-to knowledge of the city, these juice joints are full of surprises for a fun night out in the Big D!
While walking Lowest Greenville, it would be hard to miss the bright white exterior of Leela's Wine Bar, a neighborhood favorite. What you might not notice is the nondescript door to the right of Leela's entrance with signage that simply reads, 'Open.' Step inside and you'll be led up a dark stairwell that might have you questioning if you're in the right place. Once you reach the landing, you'll find the luxe lounge ABV Establishment. Contrasting its cheery sister concept below, ABV makes a statement with black walls and brass fixtures paired with velvet furniture and outlandish art. The atmosphere is cool and inventive, as is their cocktail menu, with all their signature drinks named after lyrics from rap songs. You can be just as cool when you surprise your friends with this secret spot.
Bourbon & Banter
Located in the basement of the historic Statler Hotel in Downtown Dallas is the swanky libation lounge, Bourbon and Banter. Boasting one of the largest quality bourbon selections in the city, this was a secret too good to keep. Ask to be directed to the basement and make your way down a flight of stairs to an oddly placed phone booth. Dial a certain number and you just might be clever enough to gain access to the retro-styled bar. As an homage to its former life as the hotel's beauty salon, all of the cocktails on the menu are named after vintage hairstyles. Try the Pompadour for a bit of hands-on fun with your drink or a Bouffant with extra bubbles.
True to its name and hidden in the alleyway behind popular Knox/Henderson restaurant, Henry's Majestic, is the door to cocktail crown jewel, Atwater Alley. The two-story sultry saloon is the ultimate nightcap experience. Adorned with black wallpaper, luxe leather booths and dimly lit digs, the vibe is moody and sexy, yet relaxed and unpretentious. There is no menu so classic concoctions are encouraged or, if you're feeling adventurous, give the bartenders a flavor profile and watch them craft a drink based on your preferences. Intimate, cozy and unexpected, Atwater Alley makes a perfect off-the-beaten-path addition to any Dallas itinerary.
Truth & Alibi
If you've got a flair for the dramatic, then Truth & Alibi is the place for you. Hidden behind a secret door inside The Original Deep Ellum Candy Company is an Alice in Wonderland experience. The password to enter is updated weekly but, fear not, just stop on by their Facebook page where it is easy to find. If you want to sit at a table, we suggest calling for reservations ahead of time, but if you don't mind standing (or dancing) then you'll feel right at home swaying to the beat of a DJ underneath a pair of waterfall chandeliers. While the Deep Ellum neighborhood gives off a casual vibe, you'll want to be dressed to go out at this undercover joint.
High & Tight
Upon entering High & Tight, you might think your GPS has led you astray. This hip Deep Ellum barber shop has more than a stylish new hairdo waiting for you inside. Continue past the row of stylists and follow your ears to the live music emanating from the back room. No matter if it's a lively atmosphere or a good strong drink you crave, High & Tight delivers on every level. Their cocktail menu is inspired by new takes on old classics like the Barbara Sue or the Fitz, a strawberry infused gin with a bell pepper cordial.
While speakeasies are typically undercover, if a place to be seen is more your scene, then The Joule Hotel's sexy basement bar, Midnight Rambler, is where you want to be. The only clue to finding the entrance is an illuminated neon sign that reads 'Cocktails' in the hotel lobby. Follow the context clues and you'll be rewarded with a gorgeous, yet approachable, cocktail den routinely heralded as one of the best bars in the city. Midnight Rambler serves up beautiful drinks with exotic ingredients, making it the ultimate watering hole for those looking to elevate their weekend elixirs. While the drinks get you in the door, it's the ambience that will keep you there for the rest of the evening.